Imagine yourself as a Viking in this museum that allows you to dig up Norse artifacts and witness reenactments, while you learn about York’s Scandinavian settlers.
The JORVIK Viking Centre makes use of dioramas and lifelike models to show how the city was in the time of these Scandinavian peoples. The center first opened in the 1980s, after excavations revealed the hidden history of the Vikings’ presence in York. Follow in the footsteps of the archaeologists by digging for genuine artifacts in the DIG pits.
Study the array of trinkets and tools belonging to the Vikings in the Artefact Gallery. You’ll find old shoes, hair combs and kitchen utensils among the many surviving items. Learn about the origin of the Vikings, whose network stretched from Dublin to Istanbul between the 9th and 11th centuries.
Hear how they sailed overseas from Scandinavia and raided trading centers and religious hubs for their agricultural produce, textiles and other valuable possessions. Monasteries and churches were the most lucrative targets.
Attend some of the events taking place in the museum, such as expert lectures and temporary exhibits. Inspect the array of items on display in the JORVIK Shop, which has all manner of Viking-related souvenirs and books. Visit the attraction during the annual JORVIG Viking Festival in February. The festival celebrates Norse culture, with talks, combat re-enactments and history tours.
Note that the name Jorvik is the old Norse word for York. Book 6 weeks in advance online to ensure you get a time slot in the complex, which opens daily from morning until late afternoon year round. Tickets last for a period of 12 months and there are discounts for children and families.
The JORVIK Viking Centre stands between the River Ouse and the River Foss in the heart of York. Ride a bus to one of the Piccadilly stops on the northeastern side of the museum. See some of the nearby sights, such as Fairfax House, the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and Clifford’s Tower.